Tag Archives: Emily McDowell

Just Send It

Last summer, while away on a family vacation, I received a difficult phone call from my dear friend, Ron. He had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. My first reaction, aside from “OH SHIT, you can’t leave this world!”, was how soon can I mail a card to him back home. Unfortunately, I had some practice writing  get well cards over the past few years to friends and family. But as I saw through my mother’s partner, David, who received letters while battling melanoma, handwritten letters make a difference. They really do.

Since our small beach town in Oregon only carried a small selection of encouragement cards and were not totally my style, I decided to roll with the situation and buy the most sappy, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handeyesque cards I could find. It became our theme to send Ron extremely  syrupy, footprints-in-the-sand kind of greeting cards (he’s still talking to me so something must have worked!).

267-c-illness-is-not-a-journey-empathy-card-1_grande

Thankfully, more greeting card designers are creating cards which simply state how we feel, the Queen Bee these days being Emily McDowell. Her booth at the National Stationery Show is always packed with buyers and it’s easy to see why. Emily’s empathy cards speak the truth in a humorous yet thoughtful way!

170-c-awkward-sympathy-card-1_grande

After her experience (and triumph!) with cancer as well as connecting with people who have lost loved ones, Emily understands first-hand what it’s like to be on the other side.  The emotional impact of the experience was her inspiration to create cards she would have liked to receive while she was ill.

Indeed, it’s a fine balance, how direct are you with those you feel empathy towards? This quote from Dr.Brene Brown sums it up well, “Empathy is a choice and it’s a venerable choice because in order to connect with you I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling. Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with at least...we are trying to put the silver lining around it.” And what are these words to use if not found in the perfect card?

il_570xN.626818392_65ra

TOO SEXY from Patterson Paper

il_570xN.885169830_5y1k

Throat Punch Cancer from Black Lab Studio

Years ago an article in the NY Times made it a bit more clear as far as the Do’s and Don’ts of communication to those ill. Words which are direct and have feeling appear the most powerful. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” “I hate to see you suffer.” “You meant a lot to me.” These statement plus keeping it light with a little juicy gossip, (a Hollywood star scandal, the school Principal’s dating life, etc.), can be the key in getting through the next round of chemo.

This is what I believe to be true. Show up, be real, be encouraging. Look for online support if the what’s and how’s don’t come naturally to you (my good friend recently kicked off Cancer Doula blog after losing her best friend to breast cancer and was unable to find support which spoke to her!). Do not hold back mailing a card if you don’t have the perfect words or perfect card. Your loved one will be overjoyed knowing you are with them in mind and spirit – And they are not alone.

The Best of National Stationery Show 2014, Part 1

Highlighting my trip to New York City for the National Stationery Show is not a simple task. With all the new trends and unexpected surprises to share, compiling it into one post is impossible. That said, I’ll share some of my favorite lines I spotted last month at the Javits Convention Center through a series of posts over the next few weeks. Enjoy!!

Once again, Christine from Yellow Owl Workshop worked her magic and talent within this gorgeous display space (it took her and an assistant only 2 hours to hand paint the booth!)

OSBP-NSS-2014-Yellow-Owl-Workshop-4

OSBP-NSS-2014-Yellow-Owl-Workshop-15

OSBP-NSS-2014-Yellow-Owl-Workshop-11

Emily McDowell was the show-stopper this year. With her beautiful and thoughtful hand lettered paper goods, this booth was consistently well packed with attendees.

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Emily-McDowell-5

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Emily-McDowell-10

Pineapples were popping up everywhere this year, but Hartland Brooklyn was my favorite! Emily from Hartland Brooklyn freshened up her pink neon with a new South Pacific direction.

IMG_2764

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Hartland-Brooklyn-22

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Hartland-Brooklyn-19

IMG_2760

One line soon to join the Brown Ink Paper Goods boutique is Linda & Harriett out of Brooklyn, NY. We weren’t the only ones at the show crazy for the 2015 Painted Letterpress Calendars! In general, calendars appear to be the new rage, taking the place of the faithful recipe cards.

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Linda-and-Harriett-2

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Linda-and-Harriett-42

Another soon-to-debut line on Brown Ink is Ferme a Papier. With its Tahitian-Parisian inspired collection, these lovely bold colors kept drawing me back each day to visit with creator Cat Seto.

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Ferme-a-Papier-3

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Ferme-a-Papier-36

OSBP-National-Stationery-Show-2014-Ferme-a-Papier-21

Wonderful to finally meet the sisters from Fawnsberg at the show! And excited to debut their classic wood handle calligraphy address stamp collection on Brown Ink later this summer.OSBP-NSS-2014-Fawnsberg-4

OSBP-NSS-2014-Fawnsberg-19

OSBP-NSS-2014-Fawnsberg-13

We’ll be back soon for more highlights from the show (And a big shout out to Oh So Beautiful Paper for partial photo credit). Until then, enjoy the games! #goworldcup #soccerheads

soccer